Investment appetite is growing for self-storage deals. Real estate investor Gelt has entered the self-storage market in South Pasadena, near a multifamily property that it owns, and discovered a strong interest in self-storage deals because of their similar low-risk profile and outperformance compared to other asset classes during a downturn. The firm has acquired Southmark Storage, a 665-unit self-storage facility located in South Pasadena, in an opportunistic deal, and discovered the tremendous upside in the asset class during the transaction.

“Our first self-storage deal in South Pasadena was largely an opportunistic acquisition. Gelt acquired a multifamily asset a few years ago, which had been owned by the same seller,” Keith Wasserman, a partner at Gelt, tells “We had an existing relationship through the seller’s broker and identified a quantifiable value-add opportunity to improve performance and bring rents to market. During the acquisition phase we discovered substantial appetite from our multifamily investors for an asset class with a similar low-risk profile. Our equity position was over-subscribed within a matter of weeks. In the Great Recession, self-storage outperformed other real estate asset classes and has proven to offer superior returns with low risk.”

Southmark Storage was a perfect foray into the market. It is in a great location near one of Gelt’s multifamily properties, it was nearly fully occupied at the time of the sale and it is sizable with 623 self-storage units, outdoor units and a two-bedroom apartment for onsite management. “Location and value-add potential were pivotal components in our decision to acquire Southmark Storage,” says Wasserman. “The site is located within a 30-minute drive from our Los Angeles headquarters, which has allowed us to work closely with our property manager Extra Space, who is the largest third party manager for self-storage assets in the country. As a result, we have gained extensive domain knowledge, which will facilitate our expansion into the vertical.” Gelt has hired Extra Space Storage to manage the asset.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

More from this author


GlobeSt. INDUSTRIAL 2022Event

This conference brings together the industry's most influential & knowledgeable industrial real estate executives

Get More Information


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join now!

  • Free unlimited access to's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2022 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.